Saturday, September 22, 2012

real moments of new motherhood

I awake with a pounding head, blurry vision and an upset stomach.  It's the third time this week.  Normally I would stay in bed, pull the covers over my head and try my best to sleep through the pain until the migraine relented and I was able to get back to life.

But today that's not an option.  Seven weeks ago I became responsible for another which means I can't just pull the covers over my head.  Instead I crawl out of bed and soothe the crying babe.

How can I care for this tiny human when I'm the one who needs to be taken care of?  He's crying for his mother, but right now I'm crying for mine.

I am hit with a wave of nausea.  I know it would be a tiny bit better if I could just lay down, but I can't.  Please, Lord, not today.  I just need to be well enough to care for my baby.  Looking across the room, I eye the bucket sitting there.  Can I just make it until the end of this feeding?  ...nope.  I hear the baby howling from the crib where I hastily laid him as I sit hunch over the bucket.

Everyone talks about how hard it is to have a newborn, but not many talk about doing it with a chronic illness; when you are in a battle with your body to simply get out of bed in the morning.  So far I've been managing through my daily pain, but a migraine is like a giant wave that knocks you to the ground no matter how firmly you have your feet planted.

An arsenal of baby supplies are spread over my comforter.  My plan is to only leave the bed to change diapers.  Carrying a baby around with a migraine is simply not a good idea.  To my left is a Boppy, a blanket, a soother and a burp cloth.  To my right is his pack n play.  I can do this.  I have to do this.

But the questions linger in my mind.  How will I ever be a mother when I'm this sick?  How do you explain to a baby that mama just can't get out of bed that morning and that she just really, really needs you to stop screaming in her ear?

I hear the hum of the garage door and whisper in my little man's little ear, "Papa is home.  It's gonna be okay."  On his lunch break, my dear husband has brought me food and drink.  We both know from experience that if the migraine gets too bad we'll end up spending the evening in the emergency room and we'll try everything we can think of to stop it.

The shades are drawn.  An ice pack is on my head.  The medicine has been taken.  I'm sipping liquids as much as my upset stomach will allow.  A fan is blowing on my head.  The lunch break is over and he must return to base.  Together we pray that I will receive the strength to continue. 

Baby finally falls asleep on my chest.  I lay him in his bed hoping to close my eyes against the sun which feels like lasar beams penetrating my skull.  Thirty seconds later he is awake and screaming.  I take him in my arms again speaking softly to calm him for his sake as well as for mine.  Sweet baby, mama is doing her very best today.  I'm trying so hard to give you everything you need.  Please, please just sleep for me today.  Please just stop crying.  I'll make it up to you another day. 

As I breathe in air to sustain my body, I breathe in grace to sustain my soul.  I tell myself the truths that I am prone to forget.

This is not the day to compete for the New-Mother-of-the-Year award.  Today is not a measure of how much I love my baby.  I will not let this day be indicative of the next twenty years nor let it scare me into fearing this heavenly appointment.

Today is not easy.  Today is not enjoyable.  But I know that God has given me enough grace to make it through today.  The migraine, the crying babe, the pain.  All of it is covered by the grace I've been given.  Tomorrow holds the promise of "new mercies".  Which is good.  I've exhausted all that I've been given for today.

And although my son slumbers through my words, I whisper in his ear:  "We're gonna get through, Haddy.  We've got grace.  And life is all about grace."

T'was grace that brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.



  2. Hey Callie! Just wanted you to know that I'm praying for you!

  3. I've found you through Jessica Lynn Writes. My heart goes out to you for this day, and all of the other impossible-feeling days that you have endured. I've been thinking a lot about what it must be like to be a mother suffering chronic pain, just from a week of nursing a miserable back injury that keeps me from picking up and snuggling my little guy. Your strength and courage are inspiring!

    Separately, I poked around and saw that you have been to (and I'm assuming still are at) Offutt (because no one just comes and goes from there ;))? How are you finding it? We lived there for six years before PCSing to England. There is a lot that I miss!


  4. We are at Offutt!! :D Although I cried the night we found out we were moving here, we've actually enjoyed it! We're hoping to go overseas next, but we'll see if that ends up happening. It is good to hear that you have fond memories of being here!


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